Reception Budget Tips
Instead of booking the reception at a hotel, ask a friend with a large yard if you can have the reception on their grounds. Another possibility is at a nearby park - just be sure that you get the proper permits, check if alcohol is allowed and locate near the toilets!
Many caterers can supply the chairs and tables or you can go to a party rental center. Save more money by renting nice white wood chairs and eliminate the expense of fabric chaircovers.
Rather than renting cloth napkins, buy good quality brightly-colored paper napkins. Fold them yourself into an interesting shape or artfully arrange them in the wine glasses at each place setting.
Another way to save money is to purchase good quality plastic knives, forks and spoons (Costco has silver ones that look surprisingly good). Wrap these in your brightly colored paper napkins and tie with a pretty ribbon or rafia. Add a single orchid to the bow for a really special look and no one will notice that you're saving money!
And the ultimate cost saver... make the reception a potluck! We suggest you provide the meat (barbecue marinated chicken and small steaks) and ask your guests to bring salads and side dishes. You'll also be providing the drinks and, of course, the wedding cake for dessert.
A potluck can add another fun dimension to the reception. You may want to hire some college students to help with the setup and serving.